Niklas Lichti

1980 · Austria

Artist biography

Niklas Lichti is is an established, mid-career contemporary artist, who originates from Austria, like other prominent artists such as Muntean, Franz West, Mahony, Lois Renner, and Hundertwasser. Niklas Lichti was born in 1980.

Niklas Lichti's exhibition

Niklas Lichti's work has most recently been displayed during the exhibition Concrete Quarterly at Galerie Emanuel Layr in Vienna, Austria. The exhibition was open from 24 January 2020 until 06 March 2020.

Historical Context of Austria

At the start of the twentieth century, Austria was among the most pioneering and culturally progressive countries. It fostered key developments in the Arts and Crafts Movement and Art Nouveau, called Jugendstil in German, from around 1895 to 1910, forming a key bridge between the nineteenth century and the onset of modernism. This kind of progressive, avant-garde thinking led directly into the Viennese Secession movement, one of the key art and design movements of the early twentieth century. It was formed in 1897 by a group of Austrian painters, graphic artists, sculptors and architects, including Josef Hoffman Koloman Moser, Otto Wagner, and Gustave Klimt, when artists resigned, en masse, from the Association of Austrian Artists in protest against its support for more traditional artistic styles. and an exchange of ideas with artists outside Austria, disputing artistic nationalism, renewing the decorative arts and, most crucially, creating a "total art (Gesamtkunstwerk)" that unified painting, architecture, and the decorative arts. The group was strongly opposed to the domination of the official Vienna Academy of the Arts (the Vienna Künstlerhaus), and official art salons, with their traditional orientation toward Historicism. Ultimately the group broke apart, the decorative artists choosing instead to focus on a new guild called the Wiener Werkstatte. In the late 1930s, Austria was annexed by the growing force of Hitler's Nazi Germany, an act known as the Anschluss, and which organised Austria into a province of a greater German Reich. During this period, like in Germany, the Avant-garde was labelled 'Entartete Kunst', translating to 'degenerate art', and was oppressed with only 'official' social realist art being approved, or even allowed by the state. Consequently, there was a great exodus of creative talent who determined that their interests would be best served by moving to London or New York. In the 20th century, central Austrian artists included Josef Hoffman, Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele, Herbert Bayer (the typography and graphic design pioneer of the Bauhaus), architect and designer Josef Frank, Oskar Kokoschka, Alfred Kubin, Friedensreich Hundertwasser, Maria Lassnig, Hermann Nitsch, Arnulf Rainer, Franz West and Erwin Wurm.

Further Biographical Context for Niklas Lichti

Niklas Lichti was born in 1980 and was primarily inspired creatively by the 1990s growing up. A collective of artists working in the United Kingdom, who came to be known as the YBAs, or Young British Artists, defined the artistic culture of the 1990s. Affiliated loosely by their age and nationality, they were a varied group of practitioners. A number of the YBAs attended the Royal College of Art and Goldsmiths in London, and were favoured by the ‘super collector’ of the time, Charles Saatchi. The most well known member of the group is Damien Hirst, and other members included Chris Ofili, Tracey Emin, Marc Quinn, Gavin Turk, Sarah Lucas and Sam Taylor-Johnson (née Sam Taylor-Wood). The YBAs became famous for their use of shock tactics and sensationalism, alongside their use of throwaway materials, wild lifestyles and an attitude that was rebellious yet commercial. Due to the large amount of media coverage that they received, they dominated British art during the 1990s, and their work was epitomised in the group show ‘Sensation’. The art world was influenced by a number of trends throughout the decade, and was characterised by the derisive sculpture of Maurizio Cattelan, and sensitive, conceptual advancements as shown in the work of artists such as Felix Gonzalez-Torres.

Niklas Lichti